Maine Lighthouse

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Maine in 2022 – Attractions & Activities in Maine

Maine has so many fun attractions, it’s no wonder Maine is nicknamed “Vacationland.” Whether you like big adventure, or just beautiful sightseeing, boating, golfing, biking, skiing, or just visiting lighthouses, antique shops, playhouses, museums and galleries.

Maine is rich with attractions and amusements. You can see Maine’s beautiful coast, mountains and lakes by bike, a hike, kayak or boat, or by scenic plane, even on skis, snowshoes and snowmobile in the winter. Nature lovers will find Maine’s got game with plentiful Moose Safaris, bird watching, fishing and sports hunting.

moose-safari

Of course Maine beaches are one of the top attractions, but there is so much more to do… visit Maine farms and historical parks, Maine beer tours and wineries, museums like Portland Museum of Art, the Wyeth collection at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

Families will find Maine has tons of fun things to do… mini-golf, petting zoos, the Maine Wildlife Farm in Gray, canoeing Scarborough Marsh, horseback riding, waterparks, York’s Wild Kingdom and Palace Playland beachfront ammusement park in Old Orchard Beach.

Maine has casinos, summer theatre, Performing Arts Centers in Portland, Bangor and Brunswick, even Trolley, Car, Maritime and Lighthouse Museums, Ballparks, and Race Tracks, even Maine Casisnos.

Use our guide to Maine attractions below to plan your visit filled with fun, education on vacation, spectacular scenery, and adventure during your stay.

Featured Attractions

Wood Island Lighthouse Tours | Saco Bay P.O. Box 26, Biddeford Pool, Maine
Southern Maine’s best kept secret! Visit historic Wood Island Lighthouse! Two-hour tours leave from Vine’s Landing, Biddeford Pool aboard the Light Runner. Immerse yourselves in the history and lore, that include rescues, heroism, Sailor the bell ringing dog, even an 1896 murder/suicide. You’ll experience one of Maine’s oldest lighthouses, including a trip to the top of the tower and a visit to the restored keeper's house. Tours in July and August. Make a reservation today! Learn More
Desert of Maine | Freeport 207-250-2550 | 95 Desert Road, Freeport, Maine
The Desert of Maine has been a beloved and iconic tourist destination for nearly 100 years. Major renovations to this attraction began in 2019 and are nearing completion! Discover how 20 acres of rolling sand dunes were formed in the middle of a lush Maine forest after the last ice age and the fascinating history of the "Desert". Offering self-guided tours, a one-of-a-kind natural playground, an imaginative labyrinth for kids called “Gemstone Village”, a Fossil Dig, a brand new mini golf course, a Story Walk for younger children, and a beautiful landscape for visitors of all ages. Discover the site of a building buried under 40ft of sand since WWII which was recently excavated. The Welcome Center is a charming 1930's era building featuring a gift shop and a classic snack bar serving ice cream, hot dogs, kettle corn, and more. Learn More

Oxford Hotel Casino l 777 Casino Way, Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino Hotel is Always Open, Always Fun! Experience ‘round-the-clock casino excitement on our expanded gaming floor, including nearly 1,000 slot machines and 30 table games! Our new hotel features over 100 rooms and a new pub-style restaurant offers the best in Maine and New England cuisine. If you’re looking for a gaming experience that’s uniquely Maine, you’ll find it right here, just minutes from Portland! Visit OxfordCasino.com for details. Your Maine Escape Awaits! Persons under 21 years of age may not enter the gaming area unless licensed as employees. Gambling problem? Call 2-1-1 for help. 207-539-6700.

Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour | Kennebunkport

Board a classic New England lobster boat for a coastal Maine tour. Departing daily from the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. Cruise the Kennebunk River, past the Breakwater and beach to Bumpkin Island to view seals. View Walker’ s Point – the Summer White House of President Bush. Your Captain hauls live lobster traps, while you enjoy views of the stunning shoreline and seaside mansions of Ocean Avenue. Also available for sunset cruises and private charters. (see other Rugosa images on this page) 207-468-4095.

Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour

Pineapple Ketch l Kennebunkport

Join Captain Justin Troiano aboard The Pineapple Ketch for a 1.5 hour sail out of Kennebunk Harbor along the Southern Maine Coast. Departing daily in season from the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, the tour can be as hands on or as laid back as you would like; haul lines, raise sails, take a turn at the helm or just sit back and take in the beautiful views and fresh ocean air. Departing Daily In-Season from The Nonantum Resort Marina. Day Tours. Sunset cruises. Private Cruises available. Reservations 207-888-3445.  Book your sailing excursion on line on our Pineapple Ketch web site.

Attractions and Recreation in Maine

Air Rides

Acadia Air Tours | Scenic Airplane, Biplane and Glider Rides over Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. Fly in an historic biplane over Acadia National Park, lighthouses and Bar Harbor, or choose the quiet soaring excursion of a glider ride from a mile high over spectacular Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor Airport.

Acadia Air Tours

Amusement Parks

Palace Playlandl Maine’s premier beachfront amusement park. Giant arcade, beautiful carousel, Kiddieland. Gondola Ferris Wheel and Galaxy Coaster. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Fireworks every Thursday night by the Pier, Old Orchard Beach. 934-2001.

Funtown/Splashtown U.S.A.l Family amusement and waterpark. Home of Excalibur, Maine’s only wooden roller coaster ranked one of the top ten in the world. Voted one of the cleanest parks in America and offers many rides, slides, pools, giftshops, games, arcades and eating facilities. Open weekends May and Sept. Daily starting early June. Free parking. Unlimited ride pass, slide pass or combination pass, group rates. Route 1, Saco, 207-284-5139.

Amusement Park-Old-Orchard-Beach

Miniature Golf Courses

Pirates Cove Adventure Golfl 36 holes of championship mini golf within walking distance of the beach. 70 First St., Old Orchard Beach, 207-934-5086

Cascade Golf Rangel Rt 1 Saco, 207-282-3524

Schooners Mini-Golfl 58 Ocean Park Road, Saco, 207-284-6174.

Sunset Ridge Golf Course and Sports Parkl Miniature golf, plus driving range, swimming pool, batting cages, tennis, basketball, shuffleboard. 853 Cumberland Street, Westbrook. 207-854-9463

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf

Ocean Recreation in Maine

Lobster Boat Tours, Whale Watches, Deep Sea FishingKayaking, and more

Maine Kayak l Sea kayaking along Maine’s rocky scenic coast. Maine Kayak offers half-day, full-day, multi-day island camping overnight, inn-to-inn, and naturalist trips in Mid-Coast Maine.

Kennebunkport Harbor

Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour l Classic New England lobster boat tour of Kennebunk River and Walker’s Point, see seals, haul lobster traps, friendly Captain and crew. Departs daily from Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Ave. Kennebunkport. 207-468-4095

Pineapple Ketch Sailing Excursions l Beautiful sailboat tour along Kennebunkport shore. Relax and enjoy the scenery or hoist sails and take the helm. Two-hour sails depart daily from Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport. 207-468-7262
Schooner Eleanor– Sail aboard a Maine built schooner from Kennebunkport. Two hour trips take you down the historic Kennebunk River to sea. Enjoy the peace and quiet of cruising under sail. Learn local maritime history, help work the sails, or just sit back, relax. Join Captain Rich Woodman aboard his traditional Gaff Rig Schooner.  Daily departures from the docks of the Arundel Wharf Restaurant.

Schooner-Sailing-Rockport-Maine

Kayak Excursions l Southern Maine Kayak Tours and Kayak Rentals. Full service Kayak Company based in Kennebunkport, Maine, and serving Southern Maine from York to Portland. Kayak rentals delivered to your choice launch location. And Guided Tours departing from your choice location.

Libreti Rose II – Fishing Charter Tours | Captain Bruce looks forward to having you, onboard the Libreti Rose II, for a memorable fishing experience. Private fishing charters close to shore designed for the time YOU have available. Two to four hour trips ideal for families with children. Comfortable seating, great shelter from any elements and private bathroom aboard. Departs daily from the Nonantum Resort Marina, 95 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport, ME. 207-432-4349

Kennebunkport Marina l Boat Slip Rentals. Boat Launch. Power Boat, Canoe and Kayak Rentals, Fishing Tackle, Bait and Supplies, Boat Repair and Service. 207-967-3411.

Nick’s Chance Whale Watch l Two trips daily in July and August (approx 4 hours each). Just South of the Kennebunkport Bridge (Rt 9) behind Mobil/Big Apple Station, Kennebunk Lower Village 04043. 

Kylie’s Chance Scenic Lobster Boat Cruise l 1 hour scenic lobster cruise, Walkers Point, lobster catches. 

Steve Brettell l Fish for stripers in the ocean of Kennebunkport with a licensed Coast Guard Captain. 336 Guinea Road, Biddeford, 207-283-4129

Trina Lyn Fishing Charterl Private sport fishing charters within five minutes of Old Orchard Beach for up to four people. P.O. Box 431, Camp Ellis, Saco. 207-283-2352 and 207-284-2352

Captain John’s Charters| Cruises, fishing charters, whale-watching excursions, and private charters in the areas surrounding beautiful Camp Ellis and Saco Bay. Camp Ellis, 5 Bay Ave, Saco. 508-735-6718

kayaking-in-Castine

Rock N Reel Sport Fishing Chartersl 21 Snow Road, Scarborough

Hardy Boat Cruisesl Monhegan Island Ferry, Puffin Watch, Seal Watch and Lighthouse Cruise. 132 State Route 32, New Harbor, Maine. 800-278-3346

Canoe Tripsl Scarborough Marsh Nature Center – Maine’s largest salt marsh is best explored by canoe. Abundant and unexpected wildlife sightings. Rt. 9, Scarborough. 207-883-5100

Coastal Kayak Toursl Bar Harbor – The leading Kayak tour company in Bar Harbor. Providing half and full day tours, sunset kayak tours, even multi-day island camping trips by kayak. Registered Maine Guides provide instructions, narrative and wildlife education on your sightseeing kayak excursion. 48 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, 207-288-9605

Portland Harbor

Bay View Cruisesl 184 Commercial St, Portland, 207-761-0496

Casco Bay Linesl Year-round narrated cruises on Casco Bay. Daily ferry service to five Casco Bay Islands. From Casco Bay Ferry Terminal at Commercial and Franklin Streets, Portland, 207-774-7871

Coast Watch and Guiding Light Navigationl Daily cruises to Eagle Island, 170 Commercial St, Portland, 207-774-6498

Portland Harbor

Lucky Catch Lobstering Experiencel lobstering first hand. 170 Commercial St, Portland, 207-233-2026

Old Port Mariner FleetScenic Cruises, Whale Watches, Deep Sea Fishing. Long Wharf, Commercial St. Portland, 207-775-0727

Maine Island Kayak Companyl 1-7 day trips. Peaks Island, 207-776-2373

Wild Life Refuge, State Parks, Nature Walks

Ferry Beach State Parkl 117 acres of beach and nature trails. Lodging and Camping available at nearby Ferry Beach Assoc.

Scarborough Marsh Nature Centerl Maine’s largest salt marsh is best explored by canoe. Guided and self guided canoe tours. Abundant shorebird sightings. Nature center offers slide shows, exhibits. Rt. 9, Scarborough. 207-883-5100.

Gilsland Farml Maine Audubon Sanctuary offering trails, field trips and a gift shop. North of Portland in Falmouth off Route 1. 207-781-2330.

Maine Wildlife Parkl Moose, Bear, Deer, Cougars, Eagles and more. Nature Trail and Displays. Rt 26, 56 Game Farm Road, Gray, 207-657-4977

Laudholm Farm in Wells
Credit: Greg & Heather Burke

Wells National Estuarine Reserve at Laudholm Farml 1600 scenic acres of research reserve including a 19th century saltwater farm, Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge area, Laudholm Farm Visitors Center, exhibits, and seven miles of spectacular marsh walkways and trails along marshes, fields, and wetlands. Open year round. 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells. 207-646-1555.

Rachel Carson Wildlife Preservel Open sunrise to sunset for bird watching and self-guided tours. Rt 9 Kennebunk/Wells Town line. 207-646-1555.

Marginal Wayl Scenic Walk – Ogunquit one-mile path along coast. Ends in Perkins Cove.

Maine Lighthouses

Cape Elizabeth Light/Two Lights State Parkl Two lighthouses are perched atop the rocky shoreline. Off Rt. 77 in Cape Elizabeth.

Portland Head Lightl Maine’s oldest lighthouse. Commissioned by George Washington in 1791. Adjacent to Fort Williams Park. Large grounds with picnic facilities and museum on the premises. 1000 Shore Rd. (off Rt. 77) Cape Elizabeth. 207-799-2661.

Explore our big guide to the Maine Lighthouses.

portland lighthouse

Indoor and Outdoor Recreation

Horseback Riding, Bowling and more

Harris Farm Cross County Ski Centerl 40 Km of groomed X-C trails and Snowshoeing. Rentals and lunch available, ice skating pond, and shop. Maple sugaring in March. 30 minutes from Old Orchard Beach just off Rt. 35. 252 Buzzell Rd Dayton, 207-499-2678

Garden Street Bowll Bowling Alley, Kennebunk, 207-639-7799

Happy Wheels Skate Centerl Roller Skating Rink, Portland, 207-797-8207

Kennebunkport Bicycle Co. | 34 Arundel Road, Kennebunkport Maine. 207-385-4382

Carousel Horse Farms | Guided trail rides on horseback through 5,000 acres in the Jugtown Forest with scenic views of Mt Washington. Arrangements can be made for rides along the beach and private rides on your own property or parks that allow horses. Carousel’s horses are cared for, responsive and gentle for beginners. Carriage and wagon rides are also offered – perfect for birthday parties, weddings, reunions, proposals, Christmas parties, festivals and more. 69 Leach Hill Rd Casco, ME, 207-627-4471.

Beach Hroseback Rides

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroadl Ride along Portland’s waterfront in an historic narrow gauge. Fun for all ages. 58 Fore Street, Portland. 207-828-0814. Directions Route 1N to I-295N to: Take Port Waterfront Exit. Bear right to 1A (Truck Route/Waterfront) to stop sign onto Commercial Street. Follow Commercial Street. Train is near end of street before it curves away from the water (after DiMillos Restaurant).

Mainely Toursl Daily excursions in Portland! Enjoy a fully narrated city tour (with a stop at The Lighthouse!), a 90-minute harbor cruise, plus shopping in the Old Port. 207-774-0808.

Romanza Salon Day Spa and Wellness Centerl Pine Point Road, Scarborough, 207-883-8338

Smiling Hill Farml X-country skiing/snowshoeing. Homemade ice cream. Westbrook, 207-775-4818

booth bay bowling

Twentieth Century Lanes and Sports Bar l Biddeford, 207-284-0980

Vacationland Bowling and Recreation Center l Rt 1 Saco, 207-284-7386

Oxford Hotel Casino | Oxford offers 24/7 non-stop action, including state of the art slot machines and classic table games. Located just off Route 26 at 777 Casino Way, Oxford, Maine. 207-539-6700

Maine Shopping

Kittery Outlets l Just 50 minutes south of Old Orchard Beach. Over 120 outlets and the Kittery Trading Post with savings of 20-70% daily. This shopping mecca is often referred to as America’s Maine Street for Outlet Shopping. 1-888-KITTERY. Directions Route 5 to I-195 to I-95S. Pay turnpike toll booth in York and Option 1) Take exit 2 By Pass (Kittery/S.Berwick). Bear right off exit and stay in left lane following signs for Kittery. When you get to traffic circle go around and take right onto Route 1N. Bear right onto Route 1N following signs for Coastal Route to outlets. Option 2) Immediately after paying toll, take exit 7 (Yorks/Berwick). Take left off exit and go to traffic light. Take right on to route 1S. Follow route 1S for 4.5 miles.

L.L. Bean l World famous outdoor clothier, open 24 hours, 365 days per year in Freeport. Freeport also offers over 100 outlet stores. 207-865-1212. Freeport Outlet Directions Route 1N to I-295N which turns into I-95N. Take exit 20 or 22 (Downtown Freeport) and follow signs.

ll bean
Credit: Greg & Heather Burke

The Maine Mall l Over 135 stores including restaurants, theaters and more. 364 Maine Mall Road, So. Portland. 207-774-0303. Directions Get on Route 1N to I-295N to Maine Mall Road exit or Route 1N to traffic light at Route 98/1N intersection. Take left at 2nd set of Lights (Payne Road). Five miles to Maine Mall.

The Old Port l Portland’s Historic District offers over 158 shops, 65 restaurants, 28 galleries, and numerous pubs. All located in a charming five block area lined with cobblestone streets on Portlands historic waterfront. 400 Congress St., Portland. 207-772-6828. Directions Route 1N to I-295N to: Option 1: Take Exit 4 (Port Waterfront Exit). Bear right to 1A (Truck Route/Waterfront) to stop sign onto Commercial Street. Follow Commercial Street into Old Port. Option 2: Take Exit 7(Franklin Arterial). Go to your 4th set of traffic lights. Take right onto Congress Street. Take 3rd left (Exchange Street).

Kittery Premium Outlets
Credit: Greg & Heather Burke

Saco Valley Shopping Centerl 12 stores, 2 banks and a restaurant. Free parking. Just off Route 1, Saco.

Antique Shops and Auctionsl All along Rt 1 in Kennebunk, Wells, Ogunquit, York and Kittery.

Entertainment

Live Bands and Karaokel Pier Patio Pub, Surf 6.

Fireworks Display by the Old Orchard Beach Pier Every Thursday at 9:30pm from late June-Labor Day.

Weekly Concerts in Town Square Free Shows by the Pier in Old Orchard Beach every Mon and Tues night at 7pm in season.

Salvation Army Pavilion Amphitheater l Outdoor amphitheater featuring live entertainment throughout the summer for the entire family. Church Street, P.O. Box 285, Old Orchard Beach, 207-934-2024

Salvation Army Pavilion Amphitheater

Comedy Connectionl Americas top professional stand-up comedians. 6 Custom House Wharf, In the Old Port. Portland, 207-774-5554

Southworth Planetariuml Shows for children and adults including laser concerts. Off I-295 Forest Ave. North to 96 Falmouth St., University of Southern Maines Science Building. Portland, 207-780-4249

Portland Symphony Orchestral Concerts year round. Special events. 30 Myrtle St., Portland. 207-773-8191

Portland Concert Associationl Dance, opera, musical theater, jazz, and more. 800-639-2707

Portland Opera Repertory Theatre l Grand Opera in Portlands magnificent Merrill Auditorium. 207-767-0773

Portland Public Library

Cumberland County Civic Centerl Music Concerts, Sporting Events Etc.

Children’s Theater of Mainel Live theater for adults and children. 25A Forest Ave., Portland. 207-874-0371

Portland Public Library l Story telling and entertainment for children. 5 Monument Sq., Portland. 207-871-1707

Summer Concerts and Theatre

Vinegar Hill Music Theatrel Route 1, Arundel, Summer Season, 207-985-5552 Take Route 1 South thru Saco and Biddeford and into Arundel. Go left at the light (just prior to Blue Moon Diner)
A music venue in an historic barn, bringing top local and national talent to an intimate Maine setting.

City Theaterl Theatrical productions. 205 Main Street, Biddeford. 207-282-0849.

MaineStage Shakespeare Theaterl Kennebunk. Free, outdoor performances of Shakespeare plays in Lafayette Park in the heart downtown Kennebunk. In this our inaugural season we will be performing Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet and a special kid friendly version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in alternating repertory.

800px-Ogunquit_Playhouse

Ogunquit Playhouse Summer Stock Theatre l Rt 1 Ogunquit, 207-646-5511. Take Rt 1 South belwo the village of Ogunquit. Maine’s most famous and historic summer playhouse with Broadway plays and top talent.

Saco River Grangel Salmon Falls Road, Bar Mills. Just off Rt 117. 207-929-6472

Arts, Museums and Historical Societies

Old Orchard Beach Historical Societyl Features historical memorabilia on the Old Orchard Beach area since the 17th Century. Top of Old Orchard Street, Old Orchard Beach. 207-934-9319.

Saco Museuml Paintings, decorative art, tools, period furniture, etc. from 18th century to present. 371 Main St., Saco. 207-282-3031.

Farnsworth-Art-Museum

Maine Maritime Museuml Historic shipyard site and maritime history building on Kennebec River. 243 Washington St., Bath. 207-443-1316.

Willowbrook at Newfieldl Restored 19th Century Village with 36 buildings and 11,000 artifacts including 1894 carousel. Off Rt. 11 on Main St., Newfield. 207-793-2784.

Things to Do in Portland

Portland Museum of Artl Maines largest and oldest art museum. Designed by world renowned I.M. Pei. Features fine and decorative art from the 18th century to present. 7 Congress St, Portland, 207-773-2787.

Portland Observatoryl Not a lighthouse, it is the last maritime signal tower in the US. Built in 1807 as a communication tower for the harbor. Guided tours and exhibits. 207-774-5561

portland shopping

Childrens Museum of Mainel Exhibits. Toddler Park, Cave and Farm, Interactive Science Exhibits, Space Shuttle, Camera-Obscura-Theater. Fun for all ages. 142 Free Street, Portland. 207-828-1234.

Wadsworth-Longfellow Housel Boyhood home of the famed 19th Century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Seasonal. 485 Congress St., Portland. 207-774-1822.

The Arts District Portlandl cultural community along Congress Street Portland, 207-772-6828

Things to Do in the Kennebunks

Brick Store Museum – Ship Models, Historic Displays, Rare Antiques, Paintings, Decorative Arts. 117 Main St, Kennebunk, 207-985-4802. Route One South. On left in downtown Kennebunk.

Walking Tours of the Kennebunkport – 1 hour Historic walking tours from the Nott House, 207-967-2513 or 2751

Kennebunkport Historical Society l 135 North St, Kennebunkport, 207-967-2751

Guided Tours of the Kennebunks l Intown Trolley – in season

White Columns Kennebunkport’s Bush Family Legacy Museum (Formerly Nott House) l Greek Revival House Open Mid June to Mid-Oct, Dock Square, Kennebunkport, 967-2513 or 207-967-2751

Kennebunkport Festival (1)

Seashore Trolley Museum l Largest electric railway museum in the world. Tour the various displays and exhibits from carbarns to the exhibition shop. Visitors may also ride a streetcar along a rebuilt portion of the Atlantic Shore Line Railway fun for the whole family. Log Cabin Road – Kennebunkport, 207-967-2800

Baxter Museum – Gorham ME

In 1908, James Phinney Baxter built a public library in Gorham and opened his childhood home as a museum. Besides local artifacts, Baxter Museum displays Civil War artifacts, Annie Louise Cary memorabilia, portraits and paintings. Open June August, Tuesday and Thursdays, 10 – 1pm. Free admission. Group tours welcome.

The Penobscot Marine Museum – Searsport, ME

Dedicated to the preservation, documentation, and exhibition of the history of Penobscot Bay and the maritime history of Maine. It is a unique seafaring village comprised of thirteen historic and modern buildings, many of them former sea captain’s homes. Extensive maritime, photographic and genealogical holdings. It is open to the public year-round for maritime and family research. The Museum offers visitors, young and old, a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Maine’s rich maritime heritage and includes hands-on exhibits for children.

Fitness Centers

Seacoast Fitnessl 952 Post Road, Wells, Maine. Open 365/7 – 5am – 10pm – 207-646-6898

Fitness Nuthousel Rt 1, Kennebunk – Shoppers Village. 10 minute drive.

Quest Fitnessl 7 Shape Drive. Kennebunk, ME 04043-6601. 207-467-3800

Planet Fitnessl Biddeford Location. Sanford Location

EVO Rock & Fitness Portland

Saco Sport and Fitnessl 329 North Street, Saco, 207-284-5953

Body Works Health and Fitness Centerl 644 Main St, Saco, 207-284-9924

Biddeford YMCA Northern York Countyl Alfred Road (Rt 111), Biddeford, 207-283-0100

Maine Rock Gyml Indoor Climbing Gym No experience needed. 127 Marginal Way, Portland, 207-780-6370

Sporting Events

Beech Ridge Motor Speedwayl Auto racing Saturday nights. Holmes Road, Scarborough. 207-883-5227

Portland Pirates Hockeyl AHL affiliate of NHL Washington Capitals. Play in Cumberland County Civic Center. Regular Season: October to early April. 207-775-3458.

Portland Sea Dogs Baseballl lAA Farm Team for the Boston Red Sox. Home games held at Hadlock Field, Portland, from late April through early September. 207-879-9500.

Portland Sea Dogs Baseball
Credit: The Boston Globe

Scarborough Downsl Seasonal harness racing, Rt. 1, Scarborough. 207-883-4331

Driving Ranges| See Golf Courses Section

Micro Breweries

D.L Geary Brewing Co Inc.l 38 Evergreen Drive, Portland, 207-878-2337

State-Wide Attractions

Len Libby Handmade Candiesl 419 US Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074. 207-883-4897

Downeast Duck Adventuresl 117 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101. 207-774-3825

Portland Walking Toursl 138 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101. 207-774-5561

Longfellow Housel 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101. 207-774-1822

Tate House Museuml 2 Waldo Street, Portland, ME 04102. 207-774-6177

Maine Lighthouse Museum

Victoria Mansionl 109 Danforth Street, Portland, ME 04101. 207-772-4841

Portland Schooner Co.l Maine State Pier, Portland, ME 04101. 877-246-6637

Portland Observatory| 138 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101. 207-774-5561

Portland Harbor Museum| Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106. 207-774-5561

Museum at Portland Head Light| 1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107. 207-799-2661

Portland Sea Dogs| Hadlock Field, 271 Park Avenue, Portland, ME 04102. 800-936-DOGS

Desert of Maine l Natural phenomenon, narrated tours, nature trails, museum. Open early May to mid October daily. 95 Desert Road, Freeport, 207-865-6962

Eartha – DeLorme | Worlds Largest Rotating Globe. Two DeLorme Dr, Yarmouth, ME 04096. 800-642-0970

maine-moose

Maine Wildlife Park| 56 Game Farm Road, Route 26, Gray ME 04039. 207-657-4977

Maine Maritime Museum| 243 Washington Street, Bath, ME 04530. 207-443-1316

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens| Barters Island Road, Boothbay, ME 04537. 207-633-4333

Boothbay Railway Village| 586 Wiscasset Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537. 207-633-4727

Maine Eastern Railroad| 4 Union Street, Rockland, ME 04841. 866-637-2457

Bar Harbor Whale Watch| One West Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609. 800-942-5374

The Best Activities & Attractions in Maine – Our Top Picks

When in Maine, there is so much to do… sand, surf, tour lighthouses, eat seafood, ski, snowmobileATV, moose safari, whale watch… here are a few Top Things to do in Maine

Visit the Beaches – Maine has so many beautiful beaches from long soft stretches of sand, to rocky beaches with perfect smooth pebbles, tidal pools and quiet coves with horseshoe beaches, to broad open strands that surfers love for the big breaking waves. Maine beaches are unlike anywhere else in the world, given the 8-14 foot twice daily tide, Maine beaches are incredibly scenic and unique. See our guide to Maine’s best beaches.

Take in some historical Maine sites – Maine has a proud maritime history. Today there are museums, historic sites and bold lighthouses that tell the tale of earlier settlers, brave sea captains and fishermen. There is plenty of folklore to go along – like the legends from the country’s oldest jail in York and to the hauntings of sea captains mansions in Kennebunkport.  

Sunrise Sunset
See the first light of day from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island. This dramatic mountaintop, you can drive up, is incredibly scenic anytime, but amazing at sunrise. This vantage and many more on the Maine Coast are equally amazing at sunset as the last light of day glows on the ocean and the shore.

seafood-and-beer

Sea Food – Eat Maine
Eat some local Maine seafood, lobster, fried clams, shrimp, scallops, oysters and the local fresh catch of the day. Whether you dine at a fancy four star restaurant on artfully prepared lobster out of the shell, or roll up your sleeves at a roadside clam shack and crack open your own lobster, or enjoy a lobster roll picnic at the beach, that’s up to you…just be sure to have a Down East feast while you are in Maine.

Shop Maine
Maine is loaded with local crafts people, artists, chefs, and jewelers. Whether its lobster or lighthouse decor, starfish and sea glass jewelry, beautiful seascape inspired art, or Maine made blueberry jams and maple products, you will find many wonderful handmade Maine items in small boutiques. Score some bargains at Maine outlets in Kittery, Freeport and Bangor, and seek out unique Maine discount stores like Mardens and Reny’s.

Take the Presidential pass through Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport Maine is the summer home to Teh Bush Family, President George W Bush, and formerly President George H W and Barbara Bush. You can drive along Ocean Avenue and see their spectacular Walkers Point estate, then visit the Bush photo exhibit at the First Families Kennebunkport Museum.

Go to the Beaner
LL Bean made his Maine clothier and outdoor gear, since 1913,  famous with an amazing guaranteed return policy, and the most open hours anywhere. Visit the flagship LL Bean store in Freeport, open 24/7/365, just to see the Bear and Moose, the massive Bean Boot and by all means buy something- its guaranteed forever, no matter what!

Meet the Mainers
Accents aside, Mainers are incredibly proud, often funny, pragmatic people. They work hard, laugh often and have a strong sense of Yankee-ism. Mainers can also be sarcastic, so consider yourself warned. See our Maine slang page for clue.

acadia-np-maine

See Maine’s natural assets
Beaches are beautiful to walk, explore and relax on, but Maine is also host to wonderful walking trails, bike paths and seaside walks like Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Parson Way in Kennebunkport and Belfast’s waterfront walk. Acadia National Park offers a labyrinth of carriage roads and hiking trails to explore. In the lakes and mountains, hikes and bike paths lead to incredibly scenic spots. Enjoy the great outdoors in the Pine Tree State.

Chill Out
Take a swim in the Atlantic in the summer, Maine’s cool seashore offers a refreshing swim – you might even say its bone chilling cold. The Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day at Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Portland is a real thrill and chill. In Maine’s fresh-water lakes and rivers, the water temperatures tend toward the chilly too. Jump into a good old fashioned swimming hole if you dare.

Stay another day
Maine vacations are either to short, or our state is too big. There is so much to see and do, so don’t try to squeeze it all in a week. Consider exploring a section of the Maine coast, or a few Maine lake towns at a time. It’s called Vacationland, so you can come back again and again.

Get on a boat
The best way to see Maine’s dramatic coastline is from the water. Maine boat tours range from lobster boat tours and sailboat rides that last an hour or two, to scenic lighthouse excursions, or all-day fishing charters and whale watch expeditions. You can even board a schooner or charter boat for a week exploring the Maine coasts many harbors and outlying islands. Rent a KayakMaine ports offering boat tours continue up the coast from Kittery, Ogunquit and Kennebunkport to Portland, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland, Camden, Bar Harbor and more.

Get off Grid
Don‘t just drive up and down Route 1, there is so much more of Maine to be seen. Be sure to get off the Turnpike, I-95, and the Route 1 corridor to really explore Maine.

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Get your Maine lobster to go
Have that Lobster, Fried Clams, Clam Chowder, and get your Maine fix. Then stop at a local lobster pound on your way out of town to bring home a live lobster to cook at home… Maine fishermen know how to pack your lobster to go, so you will have the taste of Maine and the smell of salty air in your home.

Among the options are visiting beautiful Maine beaches, viewing lighthouses, skiing in the mountains, eating Maine lobster or taking a scenic boat ride. There is plenty to do for children and adults of all ages to make your Maine vacation fun and memorable. Here’s our Maine bucket list.

Hit the Beach – Maine is home to some of the world’s prettiest beaches, and no trip is complete without a visit to one of these stretches of beautiful sand. Sandy beaches along the Southern Maine Coast are great for family fun in the sun, while State Parks further up the coast are more secluded but often the most scenic.

View a complete guide to Maine Beaches

Explore Maine Lighthouses – Often referred to as “The Lighthouse State,” Maine is home to 65 still standing historical lighthouses. Having once acted as beacons of light and safety for sailors, today they have become a part of Maine’s history and are popular tourist attractions.

View a list of all Maine Lighthouses

Hit the Slopes – Due to its northern location, skiing in Maine is ideal in the wintertime. Maine is also home to some World Class ski destinations such as Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Saddleback. Many Maine ski resorts offer full service amenities in addition to great trails, from lodging and ski schools, to shopping, apres ski and dining – enough to keep you entertained on and off the slopes!

View list of Maine Ski Areas

Sugarloaf Ski

Visit Acadia National Park – Acadia National Park is a gem of a Park offering so much to see and do. A visit to Acadia National Park is not complete without a visit to Sand Beach, a hike or bike around the park trails and a drive up Cadillac Mountain for fantastic sunrise or sunset views.

View more fun things to do in Acadia National Park

Eat a Maine Lobster – When you think of Maine, the image of a fresh red lobster comes to mind. Lobster comes fresh in Maine, straight out of the traps in the harbor all the way to the lobster pot and your plate. Although lobster is a staple dish on almost all Maine restaurant menus, if it is your first time you are best to go to an authentic lobster pound or lobster bake – how real Mainers eat lobster! Or if you’d prefer to cook your own lobster, a local pound or fish market will pack Lobsters to go. Also try some Maine blueberry pie and starwberry shortcake.

Take a Boat Excursion – Maine offers the best fishing in New England, with over 5,000 miles of coastline. Visitors can take advantage of Maine’s lakes and rivers or deep sea fishing charters, which can take a few hours or a whole day. Whale-watching boats bring visitors out to some of the premier whale spotting in New England. Lobster tours give insight to the life of a lobsterman, from hauling traps to baiting and measuring the daily lobster catch.

Go on a Moose Safari – Many visitors come to Maine expecting to spot a moose, the official Maine state animal. Although Maine has one of the healthiest moose populations, with an estimated 29,000, they are harder to spot than you may think. Moose safaris, tours led by skilled guides, take you to the right place at the right time. Professional moose tours are typically offered in the Northern regions of Maine, in the early morning or evening.

Climb Mt. Katahdin – Located in Baxter State Park of Maine’s HighlandsMt. Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine at 5,268 feet. Katahdin means “the Greatest Mountain” in the language of the Penobscot Indians. Katahdin has become a popular destination for hikers, backpackers, and campers – with a strict camping season between May and October. Visitors can choose from a variety of easy to moderate trails, while experienced hikers may choose a more thrilling route to the summit.

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Go Camping – Camping is a unique way to discover the natural beauty of Maine. Whether you are planning to go deep in the woods or have oceanviews, Maine campgrounds provide all your camping needs. Maine has over 542,000 acres of national and state parks and nearly 5,000 miles of coastline – ideal settings for camping. Many campgrounds offer swimming, fishing, hiking and activities on-site. View our Maine Campgrounds Directory

Visit Maine’s Outlet Malls – Most towns in Maine offer unique shopping with homemade crafts, handcrafted jewelry and local treasures. But for the bargain hunter, a trip to the Maine outlets is certainly worth your time. Kittery is home to the popular Kittery Trading Post, specializing in adventure clothing and equipment. It is also home to high-end outlet stores including Nike, Ralph Lauren, Gap, J. Crew and more! Further up north, Freeport also offers many of these brand name outlets and more. But no trip to Freeport is complete without a visit to the famous L.L. Bean store, open 24/7/365 for all your outdoor needs.

Experience White Water Rafting – Whitewater rafting has become a very popular sport in Maine, with many whitewater outfitters offering trips on the Kennebec, Penobscot and Dead Rivers. Maine is the only state in the Northeast that can guarantee water levels even during dry summers due to daily hydropower dam releases. Rafting trips can range from day to overnight trips, with visitors staying at local campgrounds, lodges or cabins by the river.

View White Water Rafting Outfitters

Go Snowmobiling – Maine’s northern most location makes it an ideal place for winter sports, often with the most natural snow in New England. Maine is also home to the most terrain and snowmobile trails in the Northeast. Many lodges in Maine offer snowmobile rentals and tours for your convenience.

View list of Snowmobile Friendly Lodges

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Canoe the Allagash Waterway – Allagash Waterway is a beautiful 92-mile long watershed great for flat-water paddlers and fishing, Class II whitewater paddling, or simply viewing and photographing Maine wildlife – which may even include a Maine moose! Outfitters offer canoe rentals and camping equipment for easy access. There are many campsites along the Allagash for rowers looking for a few days or even a week canoe trip.

Sail on a Windjammer or Schooner – One of the best ways to see all that Maine has to offer is by sea. Sailing on a Maine windjammer or schooner surrounded by blue Atlantic waters is truly unforgettable. Schooner and windjammer tours explore Maine’s rocky coastline from a day trip to week long adventures. Charter one of these boats to your favorite Maine island or celebrate a special event on board as you sail along the coast.

Kayak Maine’s Rivers and Coastline – Kayaking is another great way to explore Maine in a fun and beautiful outdoor setting. With so many rivers, lakes, streams and coastline, there is an adventure for any kayaker. Take it slow along an inlet or tidal river or try your hand at whitewater kayaking. Coastal Maine towns offer kayak rentals, scenic guided tours and day-long or overnight kayak camping trips.

Explore the Hidden Gems of the Lakes Region – Maine’s lakes and mountains region is not to be missed, as it is one of the most unspoiled and peaceful areas in the state. Paddle a canoe on a lake or river, hike the Appalachian Trail, explore historic buildings and stay at a charming countryside Bed and Breakfast. Every season is beautiful from spring wildflowers to stunning fall colors – definitely worth the visit.

Actvities in Maine by Season – Summer, Fall, Winter

The Pine Tree State certainly lives up to its license place moniker: Vacationland. There is a plethora of things to do and places to explore in the spring, summer, fall and winter in maine. 

Summer in Maine

The Maine coastline is loaded with beautiful beaches from sandy stretches for miles of walking, surfing and swimming to tidal inlets with tidal pools. The kids will find plenty of fun things to do at the beach from discovering sea life like starfish in tidal pools to building sand castles. 

Boating in Maine is some of the best in the country with a fascinating coastline, longer than California’s in fact. Maine has harbors for a weekend sailing excursion or a weeklong windjammer cruise, or for paddling about in your kayak, stand up paddleboard or canoe – or a rental from the many kayak excursion companies. For power boating, sailing, kayaking and canoeing, Maine’s inland waterways, rivers and lakes offer crystal clear blue water for boating and swimming, even white water rafting trips. The summer is also a popular time for camping trips and biking!

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If this sounds like too much effort, take in some of Maine’s culture…  summer playhouses, craft fairs and festivals to sample the way life used to be, or at least – “the way life should be” – so goes the State slogan. Take a scenic air tour in a biplane or glider to get a bird’s eye view of the great State of Maine without the exercise!

Fall in Maine

In the fall, hiking and biking are among the best ways to see the spectacular turning of leaves. There are plenty of trails and paths for mountain biking in Maine including the Eastern Trail. Taking a bike out on a ferry to the outlying Casco Bay of Long Island and Peaks Island makes for a great day of adventure. You can even mountain bike on paths, parks and mountain bike terrain parks. Sunday River hosts special bike events as does Shawnee Peak.

If you prefer road cycling, exploring the Maine coast and the Western Lakes and Mountains can be exhilarating. Generally the further inland from the coast, the hillier the terrain becomes.Baxter State Park and  Acadia National Park offer some of the world’s best hikes. Katahdin is infamous, especially hiking the Knife’s Edge. Katahdin is part of the Appalachian Trail that makes its way up the Eastern seaboard for a grand finale  in Maine. Cadillac Mountain and the Beehives on Mount Desert Island are legendary to summit. Also in Acadia, you will find miles of beautiful Carriage Roads, originally the concept of J.D. Rockefeller, ideal for walking and biking. Annual cycling events include Tour De Cure, Trek Across Maine and THe Dempsey Challenge – all of which are fundrasiers! 

fall in Maine

Hunters and fishermen love Maine for its rare, natural beauty and bounty of wildlife to be discovered and hunted. Be sure to brush up on the wildlife, fishing and hunting regulations and registrations before you go.

Winter in Maine

Maine becomes a snowy playground during the winterSkiing at Maine’s best resorts, Sunday River and Sugarloaf offer a great ski experience with alpine and cross country, snowboarding and tubing, on excellent natural snow, terrain parks and swift lifts with spectacular scenery. There are a dozen sk areas in Maine. Snowmobiling is another popular winter pastime in Maine, snowmobile clubs groom hundreds of miles of paths or you can just ride au naturale.

Sugarloaf Ski

Year-Round

Mainers are lucky enough to live in this Vacationland year-round even if it’s too cloudy for sunbathing at the beach or too chilly to ski the slopes. Of course we Mainers manage to find plenty of things to keep us busy regardless of the season. Trying your hand at luck in in a game of blackjack, for example. Gambling at Maine’s casinos is an exciting pastime even if you’re not a big spender (or a big loser). Maine is a great place for a shopping spree too. Ladies and gentlemen alike can take to our many thrift shops, outlets in Kittery or Freeport, chic boutiques, or explore antique shops, craft fairs and flea markets.

When researching activities you would like to do during your vacation, you may do well to make a list of things to do on a rainy day.

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No matter the season, come to Maine for outdoor fun, recreation and exploration – you won’t be disappointed – except perhaps that you wish you had more time to stay and play!

Desert of Maine l 95 Desert Road, Freeport, Maine
The Desert of Maine has been a beloved and iconic tourist destination for nearly 100 years. Major renovations to this attraction began in 2019 and are nearing completion! Discover how 20 acres of rolling sand dunes were formed in the middle of a lush Maine forest after the last ice age and the fascinating history of the “Desert”. Offering self-guided tours, a one-of-a-kind natural playground, an imaginative labyrinth for kids called “Gemstone Village”, a Fossil Dig, a brand new mini golf course, a Story Walk for younger children, and a beautiful landscape for visitors of all ages. Discover the site of a building buried under 40ft of sand since WWII which was recently excavated. The Welcome Center is a charming 1930’s era building featuring a gift shop and a classic snack bar serving ice cream, hot dogs, kettle corn, and more.

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